National team and Township Rollers shot stopper Kabelo Dambe has vehemently disowned a social network page that bears his name and has repeatedly posted outrageous comments that sent shock waves through the football fraternity.
The facebook page, which has attracted more than 4 000 followers, has churned out comments that mocked Dambe’s team mates and took jabs at rival Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Over time, it has gained notoriety for its hard hitting below the belt salvos and left supporters fuming. While close associates believe Dambe is a decent man who would not post such outrageous and controversial comments on social media, the facebook page threatens to tarnish his image as a principled footballer. The online rabble-rouser has left football lovers and players in awe and close associates of Dambe have reportedly started viewing him with suspicion.
For athletes and footballers around the world, social media remains a powerful platform that can either make or break their careers. Though many have tried to exploit social media to build their online reputation and impress millions of supporters who peek into their lives every day, the threat of their careers being destroyed by pseudo lurks over their heads on a daily basis. Dambe is a case in point. And so it was that 48 hours after Rollers lost in the Mascom Top 8 final against Orapa United, the troublesome facebook page issued a controversial statement: “It’s unfortunate that we lost the cup. I know I cost the team once again and I think I should apologise.”
Earlier in the month, after Rollers’ one all draw against Chiefs in a league game, the facebook page posted, “poor planning from my defenders and thinking twice resulted in rivals taking the lead. They cost us.” Dambe told Sunday Standard Sports in an interview that he was greatly perturbed by the intruder whose comments and posts are posing a threat to his reputation and threatening to destroy his career.
“I have reported the matter to the relevant authorities because I want to clear my name. It’s disappointing that someone would do such a callous thing, using my name to post insulting and irresponsible messages. I took the matter to the club and other relevant authorities and everyone has been supportive. But I want to make it clear that the account that has been making waves is not mine,” said Dambe.
An American survey reportedly asking 200 athletes about their views on social media has revealed that 53.8 percent use social media when and however they want. It is said 84.6 percent of athletes personally use their own Twitter accounts while 23.1 percent get their agent or agency to send out their messages. 69.2 percent use social media to promote their club while 61.6 percent post messages about their team or club. Furthermore, it reported that 84.7 percent think that the reputation of sports stars has an impact on the reputation of their club while 38.5 percent think that some stars use social media to damage the reputation of their club. Additionally 53.9 percent know they will face disciplinary measures if they post negative messages about their team. Moreover it cited that 37.7 percent are required to follow the strict social media guidelines laid out by their clubs.